Democrats Rename 5 House Committees
Friday, January 5, 2007; 8:52 PM
WASHINGTON -- In taking back control of the House, Democrats also are restoring the old names used for committees when they last headed them in 1994.
Republicans swept into power in that year's midterm elections had created their own monikers for several committees. As part of the rules changes adopted this week, Democrats reclaimed the old names for several committee and created a new name for one other panel:
_ The Committee on Education and the Workforce was changed back to its pre-1995 name, Education and Labor. Tom Kiley, a spokesman for incoming chairman George Miller, D-Calif., said Miller "believed that the name change in 1994 was a deliberate swipe at the labor movement in this country. He wanted to reverse the insult."
_ The House Resources Committee is now the House Natural Resources Committee _ the name it received in 1993 and lost in 1995. (It started in 1816 as the Committee on Public Lands.) Incoming Chairman Nick Rahall, D-W.Va., said the new name shows Congress' "commitment to conserving our nation's unique natural and cultural heritage _ including its natural environment, public lands and forests, and fish and wildlife."
_ Returning to a name first bestowed in 1922, the International Relations Committee is once again the Foreign Affairs Committee. Holocaust survivor Rep. Tom Lantos, D-Calif., wields the gavel.
_ The Science Committee is now the Committee on Science and Technology to more accurately describe the committee's jurisdiction, Democratic counsel John Piazza said. He said the Republicans' 1995 change shortened the name from the Committee on Science, Space and Technology. Tennessee Democrat Bart Gordon is the new chairman.
_ Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif., is chairman of the newly renamed Oversight and Government Reform Committee, which had been the Government Reform Committee only since 1999. Before then, it was the Government Reform and Oversight Committee. Waxman revels in his reputation as a watchdog over the executive branch.